John Leon Allen

John Leon Allen pic 2

June 26, 1939 – July 3, 1998

Police arrested 20-year-old Muskegon native John Leon Allen in January 1960 in a crackdown on homosexual activity at the University of Michigan.  He was permitted to graduate, doing so with honors.  He went on to earn his library science degree at the University in 1964 and his Ph.D. in 1974.  Allen later served as longtime columnist for the Muskegon Chronicle, coming out to his readers in the early 1990s.

Muskegon Chronicle, July 5, 1998

April Glover

April Glover pic

March 11, 1981 – June 18, 2012

Born in Muskegon, April Lynn Glover was a tomboy growing up, graduated from Fruitport High School in Fruitport with the class of 1999 and later worked at Bob Evans.  She was pursuing studies at Baker College to become a veterinarian technician at the time of her death.  Glover’s survivors included her life partner of four years Tiffany Randall.

Muskegon Chronicle, June 21, 2012

Clock Funeral Home

Gregory Williams

Gregory Williams pic

April 22, 1948 – December 18, 1978

Muskegon native Gregory Don Williams graduated with the class of 1966 from Muskegon Catholic High School and subsequently attended Michigan State University and Wayne State University.  In June 1972, he took part in Michigan’s first-ever pride celebration in Detroit.  At the time of his death, he was employed with a Wall Street brokerage firm in New York.

Muskegon Chronicle, December 20, 1978

Daniel Brauer

Daniel Brauer pic

February 15, 1939 – April 5. 1995

Grand Rapids native and Alpine Township resident Daniel Kenneth Brauer graduated from Ottawa Hillls High School in 1957 and served in the U.S. Navy from 1961 to 1963.  Brauer was pastor of the Muskegon Metropolitan Community Church from 1991 until his death from carbon monoxide poisoning due to a faulty water heater in his home.  He also served a vice chair of Muskegon Area AIDS Resource Services.

Muskegon Chronicle, April 7, 1995

Third Coast Magazine, May 1995

Jean Cione

Jean Cione

June 23, 1928 – November 11, 2010

Illinois native Jean Shirley Cione pitched with the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League from 1945 to 1954, including one year each playing with the Battle Creek Belles and the Muskegon Belles.  In the off-season earned her Bachelor’s at Eastern Michigan University, where she later taught for 29 years and served as the first Women’s Athletic Director.  Cione was survived by her partner Ginny Hunt.

Ann Arbor News, December 2, 2010

Margaret Wenzell

Margaret Wenzell pic

May 21, 1925 – July 6, 2014

Detroit native Margaret Elnora Wenzell played nine seasons in the 1940s and 1950s for numerous teams in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, including the Grand Rapids Chicks, the Muskegon Lassies, and the Battle Creek Belles.  Employed with General Motors in Michigan and later an electric company in California, she was laid to rest next to her life companion and spouse Dorothy Kamenshek.

Forest Lawn Memorial Parks & Mortuary

Yvonne Cushman

July 24, 1920 – February 12, 2008

Longtime Battle Creek resident Yvonne Phyllis Cushman graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School and was that city’s first female bus driver.  Her other jobs included working as a machinist in an electronics factory, operating a grocery, and caring for residents at Fort Custer State Home and the Muskegon Regional Facility.  A Harley rider in the 1950s, Cushman also owned and showed Great Danes.

Battle Creek Enquirer, February 14, 2008

Daniel Chambers

Daniel Chambers pic

September 5, 1951 – August 3, 2009

Muskegon resident Daniel Chambers spent summers on Mackinac Island while growing up in Dearborn and earned his degree in fine arts from Wayne State University.  As owner of his own design business, he created interiors for residential and commercial clients on Mackinac Island and in west Michigan.  Chambers and his life partner Terry MacAllister were together 28 years.

Mackinac Island Town Crier, September 5, 2009

Clock Funeral Home

Barb Sowers

Barb Sowers pic

May 4, 1932 – October 19, 2012

In 1953 and 1954 Barbara Jean “Barb” Sowers played outfrield with Muskegon Belles and the Grand Rapids Chicks in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.  Born in Detroit, she grew up in Livonia and retired as a high school counselor with the Livonia schools, where she headed the teachers’ union in the mid-1970s.  Sowers was preceded in death by Shirley Weaver, her companion of 45 years.

Roberson Funeral Home and Crematory

Lynnette Mick

Lynette Mick pic

August 14, 1966 – February 18, 2013

Former Muskegon resident Lynnette Mick was born in Fremont and worked for Fasco Industries for 23 years before moving to South Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  An animal rights activist, she was survived by her daughter and by her life partner Diane Banach.

Muskegon Chronicle, February 21, 2013